Toy Story 3 Review


Time to complete the trilogy! Toy Story 3 definitely came out quite a bit after the first two so it really looks a lot newer right from the jump. It’s definitely a big change in the status quo for the characters as well. Now does it defeat the first two films? On one hand it easily has the most action out of the 3 with a whole group of villains which was pretty intense. On the other hand you don’t get the fight between both Buzz’s. Hmmm….ultimately I would say this was the best in the trilogy although it’s close.

The movie starts off with a big homage to the first film. It’s the heroes all playing around in a classic wild west scenario only the graphics are way better than they used to be. We get explosions, boosters, and every cool gizmo you could want. We then cut to the toys being played with and it shows how good the kid’s imagination is. Well, it’s fun to reminisce about the old days but now Andy is heading off to college and isn’t really planning on bringing his toys. Why would he right?

Well, he plans on bringing Woody but everyone else is going to the cellar. Unfortunately due to a mistake, all of the other toys are sent to the junk pile where they narrowly avoid death. They decide to use this opportunity to go to the day care instead where kids will finally play with them again. After all the toys want to be played with rather than being stuck in the cellar. Woody disagrees with this and tells them to stay locked up in the cellar until Andy has kids some day.

Both sides are unable to come to a disagreement so the team splits up. Well, I say team but Woody is the only one who doesn’t follow them. He heads home but it isn’t a very smooth adventure as he ends up getting trapped at another kid’s house for a while. He has a good time there but ultimately needs to go home. Things should be smooth from there but he finds out that his friends may be in trouble.

See, the day care is run by Lotso, a powerful bear of big ambitions. He runs the place with an iron grip. See there are several rooms in the day care with one of them being for the little kids who don’t know how to play with toys yet. As a result this gets really painful for any toy who will be in that room. Lotso has it set up so the newest toys go there but when there are no toys available he forces others to go in and be destroyed. If Buzz and friends don’t find a way out soon then they will not be around for much longer.

Now, without knowing about the evil bear at the ready, I did agree with Buzz and friends about going to the nursery. Why stay in an attic where you may never be taken out again? Additionally there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t be thrown out eventually. That ultimately puts you in a pretty tricky spot. At least in the day care you figure there will always be a new group of kids ready to play with you every year.

Lotso just throws a wrench into that idea but I wouldn’t say it retroactively makes Woody right. Lotso is a very impressive villain though and definitely the best one in the trilogy. His origin story is pretty intense to the point where it feels like it could be a real origin story for a villain in something else. He was betrayed and as a result he has decided never to let that happen again. It’s all pretty intense.

Now you may have to suspend a little more disbelief here than in the other films because of how big this set up is. It’s hard to see Lotso actually having constant patrols, a toy at the security room, and the cages he has set up. Surely the school has some night staff or a night watchman right? The toys were doing a whole lot of things here unsupervised. Lotso basically created a kingdom so the school needs to step it up.

Not a big deal though since you could rationalize this if needed. Meanwhile it gives Woody a pretty good subplot since he gets to look really good in his rescue attempt. There’s a good amount of danger here as well since toys are actually dying and being dismembered here. It’s still a family film and all so it’s not violent in the sense that they don’t feel serious pain. Everything is more like a dull pain no matter what happens but it’s still pretty horrifying from the perspective of the toys. Woody can’t waste any time in getting to them.

There’s a pretty popular fan edit where someone cuts out the rest of the film after the scene where the heroes are falling in the quick-sand pit. It would be quite a dark ending there. We get a pretty wholesome one though that ends the film on a pretty high note. It’s hard to see this one being surpassed in the 4th but if it can pull it off that would be cool.

Most of the characters here are the same as always so you can expect a lot of good dialogue and character moments. Barbie gets a pretty big role as one of the new characters though. She is quick to side with her friends when she realizes that Ken is acting fishy which I appreciated though. She wasn’t going to buy any of his false stories and that’s the difference between a big player and a bit character. In a sense she replaced Bo who didn’t get to appear in this film.

Now there is one question that the third film sort of makes you think about. Since the toys are so desperate to be with Andy why don’t they just talk to him? That is never really contemplated so you have to assume it isn’t possible but then why even bother staying still? It seems like they think it’s possible for the humans to see them move so talking shouldn’t be out of the picture. Unless there is an official explanation for this, I have to assume that there is some kind of serious taboo that prevents this. Perhaps if you try to talk to a human you die instantly? Maybe it’s a Wixoss type enchantment that prevents you from revealing your existence unless the person already knows about it? I’d like some answers on this…maybe the 4th film can delve into it a bit but that’s my head cannon until it’s revealed. The toys can’t say anything because they would immediately die, it’s a universal rule of the world itself which cannot be broken.

Overall, Toy Story 3 is a nice way to end things out. The characters all had complete character arcs and had to accept that things would change some day. Staying with Andy may not have been a bad move but at the same time they wouldn’t be played with a whole lot and that seems very important to the toys themselves. The whole phone angle wouldn’t work and Andy wouldn’t even be home for a while anyway. Lotso really made for an imposing villain and the scene with the gang surrounding Buzz and taking him down was ominous. Seeing Buzz then attack the heroes while he was mind controlled was emotional as well. This one really escalated things to a whole new level with the drama which worked really well while keeping in the strengths from the first two titles. The 4th film has big shows to step into here.

Overall 7/10

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

Wick returns for another big adventure. The second film had a terrific cliffhanger to lead up to this one and the third film makes sure to capitalize on the concept and even throw in another cliffhanger. Ultimately I would say the 2nd film is still the definitive one because it really got to go all out with Wick taking on all challengers. This one is pretty close though.

So last time a bounty was put on Wick’s head since he ended up taking someone out while at the Continental hotel which is against the rules set by the high table. Now he has to try and survive while the entire planet is after him. The bounty on his head is also rather high so he doesn’t have many people to turn too. He’ll have to try and get the high table to remove the bounty and the only way to get an ally is to use his once in a lifetime contract coin.

Let’s talk about some aspects where the film actually even beast film 2 but also the reasons why it lost. For starters, I would say the fights may have even passed film two’s. It’s close but the highs of this film have to be the best with the ninja fights. Wick taking on the ninja masters at the end was very impressive and made for a lot of hype moments. The fact that the ninjas actually defeated him a few times was also very impressive. It showed that they were above the usual thugs.

The main ninja was also a terrific opponent. He was a fun character as well. Wick certainly hasn’t lost a step that’s for sure and he may very well be the most impressive human fighter in this kind of film. It’s hard to see almost anyone stopping him. At this point John is already very weakened and yet he’s still going around taking out all challengers.

That ties into the aspect that’s weaker than the second film though. We get a lot more non Wick scenes as well. There’s the new heroine who gets to fight, we have ninjas taking out all of the other big factions, and the whole time you’re just waiting to see Wick fight again. The whole desert side quest felt like it was a break from the usual setting of Wick being in New York and taking everyone down.

John Wick 3’s best scenes are at the very beginning as we close up the cliffhanger from the second film and the very ending as he fights off waves of opponents from the table and the ninja. So it’s the middle that feels like it’s more fluff than anything and could have been condensed a bit. It’s a change of scenery but when your backdrop is New York you never really need to leave. Those scenes always look quite incredible with the special effects and atmosphere.

There’s not a whole lot to say about John Wick that I haven’t already gone into during the first two films. He’s a great lead who gets the job done and has a lot of good character development. He goes through a lot and just never goes down. The guy’s resolve is really something else.

Sofia is one of the new characters introduced in the film but I definitely didn’t like her. Her final scene involving a water bottle is just so petty and disgusting. I feel like Wick should have just stolen her truck right then and there. She can fight well and gets some extended fights with her dogs. The film got into some rather dangerous territory by having the dogs around but this time at least the film didn’t make a big mistake. The dog getting shot was still pretty bad but at least he lived and was able to get up and fight afterwards with the jacket.

Wick telling Sofia not to murder the guy was pretty bad advice though considering the entire plot of the first film. Additionally, we then get a long action sequence where they literally murder every minion on the base. At that point you may as well murder the leader too right? Why should he be the only one to survive this ordeal? Either way I’d rather Sofia not return in the sequel but if she does, I’d say Wick will be ready for her. Part of why I hope she doesn’t return is because it’s all too risky as long as she owns those dogs. I don’t want to take a chance on any of them getting injured and if they’re fighting Wick to the death that’ll be tricky. Additionally while their fights are very different, I did not enjoy them nearly as much as the human fights. It’s all portrayed extremely violently as they bite the enemies where it hurts. It’s an effective strategy sure but instead of being hype it makes the fights rather hard to look at.

Winston gets a pretty big role here as the owner of the hotel. He gets to look rather tough the whole time even if he talks a great game despite not actually doing much of anything. The guy definitely likes to stay in the shadows and command from there. Charon is also a really fun character as always. He has a good dynamic with Wick that’s for sure and he actually goes into the field to fight which also raises his character in my eyes.

The Bowery King returns from the last film and he’s still got a lot of confidence here. Perhaps he should have prepared himself more for the fight with the High Table but I guess a King’s folly is often his overconfidence. There’s also a Russian group that shows up here who have a role to play. This film really shows off just how many different villain groups are operating in New York.

Part of the plot here is that the High Table is finally stepping in since there’s so much chaos going on. At the very least you have to say that they’re quite bold since they pick fights with every single faction in the film. Naturally all of these guys try to fight back but they have a group of ninjas led by Zero who are ready for anything. The ninja make short work out of all the groups which is also impressive.

The Adjudicator sent out to make the warnings doesn’t seem like she can fight a whole lot though. You’d think that her confidence would be her downfall but nobody ever bothers actually trying to shoot her which is very fortunate for her safety. The high table makes for a pretty interesting villain so we’ll see how that goes. It’s definitely a dynamic I haven’t seen in a long time where a villain group suddenly shows up cleaning the board of heroes and villains alike.

Zero also has to be the best main villain in the series. He gets a lot of fun dialogue during his battle with Wick. While the guy seems to like Wick as a good rival, the feeling isn’t mutual. It’s hard to blame Wick for being cold though since the guy is actively trying to murder him. Wick had more fun fighting the guy’s two subordinates, perhaps because they really fought cleanly from the start. The whole climax in the mirror world was pretty exciting.

As always the Wick films contain as much violence as they do action though. The characters go down in rather painful ways and the High Table introduces some punishment for most of the characters as well. Characters are forced to lose limbs in service to the high table or get slashed to bits. The poor henchmen don’t stand a chance against the ninja’s blades and of course Wick isn’t holding back either. The body count is massive and the series still has a much more realistic vibe than most so it’s not like this is stylized to avoid the blood.

The fight choreography is still incredibly impressive down to the fact that Wick has to reload his guns and plan things out accordingly. Each fight really holds up. Still, you’ll need a good stomach for violence in these fights. One character goes down rather painfully to a book, but that’s why you shouldn’t try to bend the rules.

The music is quite fun as always. There are a lot of really solid themes throughout the movie that help you feel the intensity of the moment. Again, you really can’t top the opening scene. I wouldn’t say that rain is always good to have around but it’s perfect for tense scenes like the opening where Wick is trying to get away from all of the possible hitmen. Any and everyone can be against him after all so it’s not easy to stay safe. I wouldn’t have minded if that was really the whole film either.

Of course the ending does leave a lot of interesting room for the sequel. I would say some characters definitely made a mistake with how they handled things and Wick is definitely going to make them regret it. 3 films in and people still insist on challenging the guy. I guess some characters never learn.

Overall, John Wick 3 definitely continues the series by reinforcing what everyone likes about it so much. It’s certainly a very interesting journey with a lot of good writing and intense action. It would be so perfect if they could just tone down the violence. You could certainly do that even while keeping the fights realistic by changing camera angles or stylizing things a bit. Hopefully the series continues with having hype cliffhangers at the end because these really hold up in getting you psyched to see what happens next.

Overall 4/10

Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World Review


Bleach will always be known as one of the greatest manga to ever walk the planet. It balanced together a ton of action and hype moments but at the same time fans will note that we were left with a lot of unanswered questions. Well, this book seeks to answer at least some of them. Others will need more novels but if you had any questions about Hisagi or the origins of the Soul Society then this should answer them. It’s a pretty fun trilogy even if it probably would have been better to have sidelined Hisagi since he’s so far out of his depth.

The books starts with Aizen finally being sentenced to prison again. He may have helped out during the Thousand Blood War but nobody wants to see him since he makes them feel bad. The guy is successfully able to manipulate the whole cast in his few pages of screen time at the beginning. He says some rather disturbing things though which causes Hisagi to decide to run a newspaper. He aims to get to the bottom of the dark web of lies known as the Soul Society. To do this he will have to interview every character who had a role during the Bleach manga series. There’s just one problem: he may have just walked into a conspiracy.

Meanwhile Tokinada has decided that it’s time to act more openly. He’s the head of one of the 4 sacred houses of the Soul Society. This means that he can do just about whatever he wants whenever he wants. In this case he just wants to stir up some trouble and intends to use his protégé Hikone to accomplish this goal. With Ichigo away on vacation, do the heroes have any chance against this guy?

Since there are 3 books here there is a whole lot of time for story progression. As such the books are able to be very dialogue heavy with character discussing abstract concepts such as what it means to fear someone and if it makes you stronger. In particular Hisagi loves discussing such topics since he is obsessed with them. In a way I would say Tosen leaving seems to have traumatized Hisagi in some way because the guy is really obsessed.

You’ll have long monologues of Hisagi wondering if what he is doing is right or perhaps he made a mistake somewhere. It’s definitely a rough road for the guy that’s for sure. Hisagi’s not a bad character, I’ve never minded him at least although I would say he is probably better in the manga than in the novels because we didn’t know he was so dramatic. In the books he tends to panic whenever anyone talks to him. In his defense he is rather outmatched by everyone though. He still gets to participate in the climax though and I would say that was handled really well.

In terms of moments where he overthinks things, I would say that the answer usually isn’t all that hard to find. For example, he talks about the kind of justice that Tosen has but no matter how you try to explain it away, that guy was just crazy. You can’t find meaning in his actions due to that being the case.

Then later on when he’s panicking about Tokinada getting the better of him, you realize he just needs to beat that guy. Now, some of the characters have valid gripes against the Soul Society like Ginjo. I thought he looked really good here as well. I would argue in the fights he should have looked a lot stronger but he doesn’t train as much as Ichigo so I guess it’s not a big deal.

His main issue is really just that the Soul Society did betray him and they murdered a bunch of people. You can see why he is always upset at them because they get away with everything without any issue. That’s where the problem lies because you’d think that by now things would be different but they really aren’t.

Look no further than Mayuri’s subplot. Sure it’s mainly used as a dark humor kind of plot but he’s literally enslaved a bunch of hollows and quincies. The Soul Society looks the other way because they don’t like those factions at all but you’re really going to let them live such a tough existence? Mayuri doesn’t hide this at all either and is just as demented as he ever was. All of his scenes are painful just because of how dark they are. The guy gets his kicks out of experimenting on everyone but nobody stops him. It’s why I could never root for the Soul Society in any arc.

First they tried to murder Rukia on rather flimsy reasoning. That event is mentioned here a lot since of course Tokinada had something to do with it. That was one of their first appearances and things never really changed. They’re on Ichigo’s good side but that doesn’t mean that they are actually heroes. Throughout this trilogy we find out many other dark secrets about them which just keeps on adding up. Honestly I don’t think Hisagi will ever get to finish his story. He’ll probably be bumped off at some point.

Even characters with high ranks like Shunsui threaten Hisagi about this a lot. He really will have no friends if he goes too far to the point where it’s hinted that he would need to call in Ichigo. Ichigo gets a lot of hype here which was nice. Every tie the books hype up the new villains they always make sure to mention that Ichigo would still win. It’s nice to see because the power levels had be a bit worried. Sequels tend to surpass the heroes pretty quick like Granolah surpassing Goku and a bunch of Androids all surpassed Naruto with ease. So far that has not happened to Ichigo here.

In general the power levels in these books aren’t too bad but I definitely have some issues. Mainly it’s that too many of the characters seem deadlocked. You’ll be surprised at how many ties there are in this trilogy. Characters keep tanking everything until the battle gets interrupted. Most of the battles in the final book end at least which is good.

We get to see some of the Espada show up like Harribel, Nel, and Grimmjow. Harribel is currently the leader of Hueco Mundo and still looks good here. She doesn’t get a very big role but looks tough. The same is true of Nel as well. Grimmjow definitely gets a bigger role than the other two. He has several fights to himself and looks pretty good. It was always fun to see him get involved and was nostalgic in a way too.

Urahara knows a lot more than he lets on as always. He’s certainly a crucial piece to the heroes’ arsenal even if he tends to help behind the scenes. The guy hasn’t lost his edge. Then there’s Shunsui who may be the leader of the Soul Society but he has to play politics so often that he rarely gets to do what he wants to do anymore. I would say that holds him back as a character because he feels like someone who ended up joining corporate and can’t be trusted anymore. At the end of the day it’s clear that he will choose duty above all else.

Yoruichi and Shinji are other characters who get quick roles here. Yoruichi is confident as always and likes testing various characters but only participates in a fight briefly. Shinji also gets one fight but it’s quite the important one. He’s one of the few side characters to get a full fight to himself which is pretty big. His fans should definitely be satisfied with the results since you really can’t ask for a whole lot more than that.

Not to be outdone, Zaraki gets some hype as well. He doesn’t fight until nearly the end of the trilogy but it’s really a fight that’s worth your while. His power level has to be one of the strongest among all the captains at this point if not the absolute strongest based on how everyone acts around him.

Tosen is important only in the sense that his justice speech gets mentioned a lot by Hisagi. Honestly I think Hisagi reads way too far into everything. Tosen was pretty much insane and made his choice. You can’t use him as a beacon of hope anymore. Then you have Aizen who looked great in his initial appearance as I mentioned. He gets a flashback as well and appears a bit near the end so it’s always good to see him show up. The guy gets so much hype that you can’t help but feel he would able to win against the heroes if he were to ever return.

Mayuri gets a bit role as mentioned earlier as he really tries to make the Soul Society look as evil as possible. Between him and Tokinada they make a compelling case for why the place needs to be taken down. Then we get onto the 4 new characters in the series. First up is Tokinada since he is the main villain. The guy is certainly going for an Aizen vibe but a crazier version of the character.

Aizen always spoke very respectfully and had grand ideals. He knew how to talk about those in a very regal sense. Tokinada is also a master strategist but he likes really messing with the heroes. He’ll constantly bring up old traumas to see how everyone reacts. His back story really hits different as a result of that. It’s not an origin where you’re supposed to feel bad for him. Far from it, it shows that he was always twisted to the core right from the start.

He makes for a very powerful villain but not a likable one. You feel like Shunsui or Byakuya should have taken him out long ago. The main problem is that they just accept what happened each time without retaliating. That would lead to Tokinada growing more and more bold. It is impressive how he is able to hold his own against everyone though. Maybe a little too impressive since taking on Espada, the Quincy, and the Gotei 13 is just insane. This guy could have even ended Arc 2 based on how good he looks here.

Then you have Hikone who is Tokinada’s right hand man. As a human, arrancar, quincy hybrid creation the kid doesn’t know anything about the world except what Tokinada has told him. To that extent he’s a rather tragic character since he has no possible way to know that what he is doing is wrong. All he can do is keep on moving forward and hoping for the best. This guy’s power is also very impressive and he keeps on getting stronger throughout the series. I ended up liking him. Hikone’s true personality shines through since he doesn’t murder his opponents the way he would have if the guy was pure evil. He simply doesn’t know better and I can’t really blame him for that.

Then you have his sword Ikomikidomae. That guy’s a very interesting character and I would have liked to have seen more of him. He’s a very old being who has so much power that it’s hard to even say what he is. The guy ultimately gets overshadowed by the other two villains but looked really impressive in the meantime. In a 1 on 1 fight it’s hard to say that anyone else would be able to defeat him. Not the way he was dominating the other characters.

Finally you have Aura. She’s certainly an interesting character with the way her intangibility powers work. Aura is quite broken in that sense as nobody could really land a hit on her throughout the whole trilogy. Only one specific blade would even have a chance against her and since Tokinada is a master strategist she would need to be careful of him. She gets her own backstory and everything so by the end you feel like you know Aura quite well. She got a very satisfying ending to her character I would say.

In the books there are some illustrations which is fun. It would be nice to see this turned into a manga or anime at some point since there’s a lot to absorb here. I don’t read a whole lot of novels though so it’s fun to see how the information is presented in a different medium. For sure it allows you to have a lot more dialogue and characters really processing the events. To an extent I would say that a novel will always be more dramatic than other versions since you have the characters thinking and using hyperbole about everything. (“This is the strongest attack I’ve ever seen!!!!”)


Overall, This was a really fun trilogy. The only goal the trilogy didn’t succeed with was getting me to like Hisagi. The guy is just too filled with self doubt and panicking all the time. Since that was part of his character arc perhaps he will be better going forward though. I liked how the series handled the Ichigo aspect since the guy would have cleaned shop if he was around. I thought the reason for why he wasn’t around was logical though and there’s even potential room for a sequel explaining more in depth what happened to him. What really seals the deal for the trilogy being great though was the ending. It’s really the ideal ending in many respects and an ending is always important since it leaves an impression. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the final outcomes. So if you’re looking for more Bleach content until we hopefully get a sequel soon, these 3 books are great ones to check out.

Overall 8/10

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Review


Railgun’s definitely had a great track record so far to the point where it has even been crushing the main series and the spinoff led by Accelerator. To this day I still say that Railgun S was the best season for any of the Raildex shows so far. T comes pretty close and I would put it in second but ultimately I give S the slight edge. It’s just really difficult to take that one down for the count. There are quite a lot of story arcs and characters here to prepare yourself for quite the long review.

The first story arc takes place at the Festival and it’s certainly the longest story arc here. With the festival at play all of the classes are participating so they can prove that they are the best. During this there is a group that is trying to capture Misaka as well as the Misaka clones in order to gather information on the Misaka network and get the Level 6 project ready. Meanwhile Misaka’s friends have all forgotten about her and she suspects that Shokuhou is responsible for this. The tricky part is actually confronting her since it’s difficult to reverse the mind wipe and of course without proof it’ll look like she’s attacking another student without provocation. As her friends begin to get targeted though, Misaka grows less reluctant to cause a scene.

This arc was a solid jumping on point since it continues the Sisters plot and introduces a quite a lot of characters who would be important down the road. It also gave Misaka’s friends a chance to shine before she intervened and had some pretty intense moments. One of the scientists beating up on Misaka’s friends was intense because it took her so long to get there. If anything I thought that guy got off incredibly easy since he basically just got to escape after being threatened and didn’t even get beaten up a lot. I feel like after everything he did they should have at least taken him down officially and shut down the group before handing him over to the cops. I suppose with the threats that should be it for him though.

Kongo and her clique had their first really serious fight in this arc and it was nice to see what they were capable of. All 3 of them seem reasonably powerful but Kongo in particular has a great power set with air. If the circumstances had been just a little bit different then I dare say she would have been able to come out on top. I was glad she got her respect here because she has always been a very loyal ally to Misaka but rarely gets a lot of recognition. Kongo definitely had a very solid role here though.

Then you have the villain Mitori who is pretty interesting with her ability to create a metal version of herself that attacks and defends on its own. Naturally she’s not very tough when you take the clone away but getting past it is quite troublesome. It seems like she will be appearing more in the future but under Shokuhou’s watchful eye I don’t see her trying anything crazy.

With the Level 6 project completed here it feels like we ended a plot line that had been going on since forever. Even in the original days of Index people were trying to get Espers up to Level 6. I don’t doubt that more people will try in the future of course but now that we’ve actually seen Level 6 I feel like it won’t be as much of a focus. We now know what it can do after all so it’s no longer some kind of huge mystery.

As always Misaka is an excellent main character here. One of the reasons why she is so likable is that she is never afraid to just jump in and get on the action. She’s a very pro active character and if the red tape looks like it’ll take too long to go through then she just skips it and goes undercover with her baseball cap. It may not be much of a disguise but it works, particularly due to the fact that she tends to short-circuit the cameras and hide from building to building anyway. I didn’t expect we’d see Misaka acting as a renegade so soon after S so that was nice to see. If only her friends were more understanding she probably wouldn’t even need to hide this from them but until then I definitely agree with her decision to be low key about it. You never know quite how the others will respond.

Of course Touma shows up in this arc as well and it keeps showing me why the guy works even better as a side character than as the lead. He always looks really good in the Railgun titles such as him being able to help Misaka even as she’s a Level 6. The fact that he’s mastered his right arm here more than even in Season 3 of the Index show is pretty telling. He just launched those dragons out without a care in the world and it worked out. He’s just brimming with confidence here even with his arm canceling out good luck. If Touma was always like this then he would probably be one of the best characters.

Touma got to team up with a new character named Gunha who also stands out as an excellent character. He’s one of the other Level 5 Espers from Academy City but didn’t really get to appear much until now. Well, they definitely ended up saving one of the best characters for last because this guy really stands out. He’s just an excellent character all told. Gunha is all about fighting with guts and that allows him to really surpass his limits and get to the next level. It’s clear that his raw power would even rival that of Misaka’s and I would imagine that he could put up a decent fight against any of the fighters that we had previously seen in the series. The show hasn’t gone out of its way to explain his abilities yet but it seems to involve wind manipulation. That would be my guess at least and it helps him display feats of speed and strength as a result.

This arc also brought Shokuhou back into the mix. She would end up being a main character in most future arcs as well so get ready for that. Fortunately it works out because she is just a great character. Pretty much any scene that involves her ends with Shokuhou completely stealing the spotlight. Her memory manipulation ability is incredibly handy, especially mixed in with the fact that she has absolutely no qualms about using it. As a result she’s really got the city in the palm of her hands. Whenever she is in a jam she can just mind control someone to help her out. Shokuhou can be a bit spoiled as a result but she also uses her personality as a clever way to prevent other characters from realizing just how smart she really is.

Her ability involves a lot of mental mathematics and using her abilities super creatively. Her 1 on 1 battle with Gensei was a super intellectual battle and she held her own quite well. It’s effectively a battle of traps both physical and mental the entire time. There was a ton of back and forth with a lot of fake outs as well. Then we eventually see Shokuhou’s emotional backstory. As the show goes on and we learn more about her, Shokuhou goes from being a very good character to an excellent one. It seems like she will be sticking around as a supporting character down the road and that definitely sounds good to me. You also can’t help but like the fact that she never missed an opportunity to mess with Misaka. The fact that she has memory altering abilities makes it too easy. Misaka is just super lucky that her electrical abilities prevent such abilities from working on her as things would definitely get ugly otherwise. Low key her butler is also a great character. I do like that he actually knows how to fight and understands military strategy. He’s out of his league in this season but handled the situation as well as possible.

Gensei was surprisingly a solid villain as well. Usually with a guy like this you’d expect him to be a fairly boring villain who is just here for the plans and such but he surpassed my expectations. His goal was actually really well thought out and the fact that he even gave himself super abilities was impressive. He planned things down to a T and has to be one of the best mad scientists I’ve seen in a very long time. He’s a villain through and through but one who plans for every contingency. Usually you see heroes having to overcome great odds but in this case he was the underdog. Who’d have thought that an extremely old man with no way to really be able to fight physically could take on two Level 5s the way that he did.

Time for a mini arc about Indian Poker. This was definitely an odd little thing that has a lot of plot relevance to the rest of the season and even the future beyond that. It’s going for more of an emotional saga as opposed to being the next big thing. The first two episodes focus on Kuroko’s team. Saten as usual is trying to pick up on more hobbies to tease Uiharu about. Well, this new Poker system allows you to buy a card where you pick up on someone’s dreams. So for example, as the recorder you would go to bed and dream about eating pizza. Well, the dream is now recorded so putting it on your head will allow you to keep reliving the dream. You can also sell the dream so others can experience it.

In this way you can learn someone’s secrets or even their talents. The idea is that if you’re an expert at juggling you may dream about juggling as well and then when someone roleplays as you during the dream then you’ll be an expert by the end of the dream. I don’t think picking up a hobby would be so easy just from a few dreams but I guess if you do it enough you can become an expert. Naturally that also means a lot of people have rather sketchy dreams which they turn around for a considerable profit. The sketchiest dreams tend to be the most lucrative.

Now, the success of Indian Poker will depend on users actually controlling their dream so they sell a good product. That part seems easy enough though as controlling your dreams isn’t that hard once you actually try it out. For example I find that an easy way to target your dreams is to pick a scenario to think about and then as you slowly fade into sleep it’ll continue as your dream until you wake up. I use it quite extensively as I reimagine tournaments in Smash Bros going a bit differently or I win the lottery and have fun spending the money. It’s a good mental exercise as you retire for the night and then it’s also a positive dream which is fun.

Back to the arc though. One episode is mostly just a comedic one with Misaka fighting over cards and is forced to relive a lot of dreams to find the right one. The whole adventure ended up being a bust though. I’d have to put that as one of the weaker episodes. It had some fun moments of course but does take the low hanging fruit here at times with the dreams. The other two episodes have Kuroko and Uiharu meet up with a kid who can see the future. He uses the cards and his camera to record the dreams and hopes that Kuroko will be able to stop them. He only tends to see disasters after all. The heroes help him out and it leads to an emotional journey to save his dog as well.

These episodes can feel like filler to an extent and in the grand scheme I would say it’s fair to call them that. There are technically elements that make these episodes important though so it would depend on your definition there. The episode involving the dog could have gotten dicey for sure but fortunately things turned out well. I’m still not a fan of Uiharu or Saten so I don’t mind that they’ve had a very small role in the season.

Kuroko’s a fun character but ironically only tends to not be quite as enjoyable when Misaka is around. Kuroko’s always been a far better protagonist when she’s on her own. Some heroes are just like that I guess as being around others reduces their character personality to one note. So on the whole I would say Kuroko’s okay. At least in these episodes she did well. Teleporting is always a useful ability to have and when Kuroko’s serious she does get some good wins in this season. Her battle of wits with the living metal user in the mall was also very solid.

Next up is a 2 episode mini arc featuring Frenda and Saten as the main characters. They make for a very unlikely lead duo and the saga works out quite well. Frenda is a ruthless assassin after all but part of how she copes with this is by being a fairly cheerful teenager otherwise. She really likes her canned mackerel and that’s what leads her to Saten. Frenda repays the favor by saving Saten from being kidnapped but is then attacked by the assassin Yumiya. Frenda could win easily in most circumstances but they are fighting inside of a crowded mall and Frenda was already injured prior to the battle.

Now these two episodes were exceptionally good. It’s really the ideal mini arc as it’s a self contained story with characters who don’t get to appear a lot. It’s easily Frenda’s best appearance in the entire franchise to be sure. We really get to see her mastery of bombs and hand to hand combat as well as her solid strategy tactics when cornered. Saten may just hold her back the whole time but Frenda still doesn’t run away or anything. If anything the whole situation feels all the more tragic since you know what happens to Frenda in Index season 3. This way we at least got to see her a little longer.

Yumiya was also a pretty solid character. She’s a very delusional villain to be sure and has a complex personality. She wants to be popular at school and tends to misread everything. Her job as an assassin is also very inconvenient of course since it gets in the way of being at school. While she is very shy and timid at school, she is a vicious murderer otherwise who will use any means at her disposal in order to win. It’s a solid character contrast and it would be fun to see her return someday. Of course she will need to heal quite a bit in order to be as much of a threat as she used to be since Frenda did quite a number on her.

The final 5 episodes take us to the final arc and it was a great way to close everything out. We are introduced to Kuriba, a scientist of great renown. She has been experimenting with the idea of splitting a person’s soul in two and proving if one really exists. Well, she accomplished this but it may have been more of a dangerous experiment than she anticipated. There now exists a Doppelganger who has all of the same knowledge and experiences as Kuriba. When Doppelganger finds out that she is the fake she does not take it so well and is now threatening to blow up Academy City as well as murder Kuriba. A team of assassins’ are sent after her but they won’t be enough. Fortunately Misaka is also on the case and ready to take this foe down.

There are a few twists in store as with any big arc. The climax is also really high end as the Doppelganger continues to upgrade from form to form. She even brings out a giant Kaiju mode at one point which was really cool. Now, you can sometimes worry about a giant opponent taking on someone who’s human sized since it can devolve into 0 choreography where they whack at each other but this fight was handled really well and also animated on point. Misaka gets to unleash one of her largest Railguns in the series. I also liked that in this arc Misaka made more use of her black iron ability. I find it to be one of the most versatile weapons at her disposal but she rarely ever uses it in combat. I suppose she prefers to use electricity through her Railguns but I think long-term she may find even more success with this.

The Doppelganger made for a great character. It’s always tough finding out you’re not the real thing after all. It’s pretty understandable that she would go off the deep end. Additionally Academy City is so corrupt and we learn more and more with each arc. It becomes increasingly harder to defend them and if the villain were to destroy the city they would take out a lot of bad guys instantly. Of course they can never truly win because we would also lose a lot of heroes. Doppelganger’s plan is solid though and she’s also a terrific fighter with how quickly she can adapt and learn new techniques. She works out quite nicely as the final boss.

For the assassin group Scavenger, it’s fun to see them after they got trounced in the Accelerator series. Unfortunately for them they are once again completely out of their league here. There’s never a doubt in your mind that Misaka or Doppelganger could take them out. I’ll give props to the kinetic energy girl for actually trying but of course she was dispatched like an after thought. The group is very lucky that Misaka bought into all of their excuses because she would have been able to take down the rest of the group with ease. If anything they get off a little too easy here.

The final episode nicely wraps up all of the various subplots and gives the characters one last scene. Naturally there are still a ton of ongoing plots occurring in the background. Some of these would likely get wrapped up in other titles but I’m sure some will make it for the next Railgun series. It’s part of the fun of being an interconnected series. You really need to see all of the titles to get the complete context. Some characters show up here with direct repercussions from the Accelerator and Index series so if you came here directly from Railgun S there would probably be a bit of a disconnect there. You can just watch all 3 seasons of Railgun on their own and be okay of course but checking out the rest really helps to give you that extra context.

The only thing to say against the show would be that it has a decent amount of fanservice. Certainly the dream episodes have fun with that and Misaka’s ongoing insecurities are only magnified by having Shokuhou appear all the time. There’s a consistent level of this to an extent but the show always keeps this aspect reigned in well. It doesn’t really hold the show back much. It would be nice of course if the show side stepped this entirely but it seems almost inevitable that some fanservice would appear. As long as it’s always overshadowed and outnumbered by the high quality scenes here then we should be good.

As always the animation here is most excellent. The animation may have even gone up from the first two seasons. There are a number of excellently animated fights here like Misaka vs the robotic Kaiju, Touma and the new Level 5 taking on Misaka, and low key the battle with Frenda and the assassin. It never really lets up and makes for a very consistent experience throughout the show. There are no poorly animated episodes which is always great since it shows that a good amount of time and effort was put into the show.

Next up we have the soundtrack which is unsurprisingly very good. You’ve got a lot of the classic tunes here along with new ones. The new intro to the season is also very solid. I would definitely take the first one over the second but they both sound very good. The battle themes are on point and so on a technical level Railgun does really well as expected. The writing is on point and Railgun gives so many characters so much development that it’s just really impressive. I’ll definitely be ready for the next season. Each episode is just handled in a way where you’re always interested in what happens next. Even the bust upper episode which I consider to be the weakest one still has a lot of very solid humor moments. The sign of a great show is when every episode is engaging in its own way and Railgun T pulls that off.

One thing that the Raildex series has always done well is throw a lot of fancy terminology and lingo at you. I always love seeing characters babbel on about their crazy abilities and plans. Railgun T is no exception to that with a lot of great concepts thrown in there. It’s willing to tackle any idea or premise no matter how crazy and it works. I just really enjoy a good speech and the villains and heroes both make a lot of those. It all just ends up being very compelling and the series is so fleshed out now with over 10-20 groups running around that you never really know what’ll happen next.

While a big reason as to why the show is so fantastic is the fight scenes, it does manage to blend together a lot of different emotional moments as well. For example, Shokuhou’s backstory ties in with one of the sisters and another character. The 3 of them have a lot of pretty emotional moments there since they all grew up with rather tough backgrounds. To go from there to having a very light hearted episode would be tough for some shows but Railgun pulls it off. All of the characters get satisfying endings to their stories and so the sad moments have great payoffs. Then of course we have the action episodes where it goes without saying that those are really satisfying. The single best fight scene here would likely be Gungha and Touma’s team up against Misaka but I would put Frenda vs Yumiya and Misaka vs Doppleganger as close runner ups. There’s a lot of good action here to be sure.

Overall, Railgun T is a great successor to Railgun S and shows that the series has still got it. Not that there was ever any reason to doubt this after how good Railgun S was though. I’m wondering if the next season will be called Railgun U or if they’ll just switch to another letter. If we assume that each one meant S (Second) T (Third) then maybe Railgun F makes sense for Fourth. Either way I can’t imagine that they would want to wait too long before continuing the adaption but it is pretty cool how they keep on adapting more of the franchise. So whether we get more of the main series, Accelerator, Railgun, or another spinoff, it’ll be fun to see how that turns out. If you haven’t seen Railgun T yet then you definitely need to change that asap!

Overall 8/10

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review


While the first two Santa Clause films were ranging from very good to great, the third installment ends things off on a whimper. It just isn’t able to compete at all. The reason for this is that the human areas have effectively stopped appearing. Almost the whole film takes place in the North Pole this time and let me tell you, that’s not a good idea. That’s where the weakest characters are after all so it’s just not going to work. The best part of the film is sadly a very short set of scenes.

The movie starts with Santa doing his best at Christmas as usual but this year things are extra hectic. There are delays in the present supplies which means that Santa has to inspect these things a lot closer than he usually would. Then his wife Carol is starting to miss being at home. Scott figures if she can’t go home then he’ll just bring her parents to the North Pole. They’ve never liked Scott though so the whole thing is a little tricky. With Christmas getting more and more stressful Scott is reminded that he can use the Escape Clause to make it so that his adventures as Santa never actually happened. Should he really undo everything that has already occurred?

I should mention, this is already part of the plot that seems forced. Why can’t Carol just go and spend some time at home? I feel like that should be an option as a little vacation of sorts. At the very least it’s an alternative to consider as opposed to going through an elaborate set up to bring her folks and then pretend that this is Canada. It’s never even considered though and based on what the parents say, Carol hasn’t been home in years. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

There’s also another plot in the air. So, I didn’t mention them in the previous review but there is a council of Supernatural creatures such as the Toothfairy, Mother Nature, Easter Bunny, and more. They were fairly pointless in the second movie just as in this one so there’s not a lot to say about them. It’s a fun concept but the film doesn’t actually do anything interesting with them so you can definitely be forgiven for forgetting them entirely.

That being said, this time they play a bigger role because of one member known as Jack Frost. He’s upset because he’s the only member not to have his own holiday so he keeps trying to steal Christmas. Scott is ready to expel Jack but then decides to give him a second chance. He’ll let Jack Frost observe Santa’s workshop during the busiest time of the year with no real supervision. Jack accepts since this is the perfect time for him to sabotage Christmas. Throughout the movie we see him breaking equipment and messing with everyone the whole time. Unfortunately nobody is able to stop him.

It leads to a pretty rough scene where Lucy figures out the gameplan but isn’t able to tell anyone before being defeated along with Neil and Laura. You’d think they would have put up a better fight but they end up getting frozen without even landing a hit. It was definitely a pretty shameful appearance for them. Jack’s an interesting villain but one who gets away with far too much. Pretty much any scene with the guy is one where he is just messing up another piece of equipment with no actual punishment for his actions. You’d think that someone would catch him but that’s not the case. Even by the end he’s barely punished for everything he did.

That’s definitely one of the more annoying parts. That said, it does lead to the best part of the film which is the part where he and Scott have to time travel back to the past where the first film took place. Scott’s definitely been slacking off on his fighting ability though given how he was easily defeated by Jack. From there we get to see an alternate past where he never became Santa and how badly it turned out for everyone. At least this now gives Scott closure that he made the right move all along. My only problem with this is that the plot doesn’t appear until near the very end of the movie so there is almost no time to actually explore this. It’s an incredible premise and not one that could be explored in a few moments like that. I dare say that most of this film should have involved this premise.

After all, Jack learns about this trick from Curtis near the beginning of the film so we know it’s going to happen at some point or another. Instead of buying time with Jack breaking everything just cut to the chase. That way we’d have more time in the human world and that would have been a blast. The movie absolutely would have benefited from going down this route. Of that I definitely have no doubts. Ah well, I guess it wasn’t to be. It’s not that this film did a whole lot wrong but one of its main weaknesses is that it’s not all that funny anymore. I can’t think of any really humorous moments in this film and for a comedy that’s pretty bad. It’s definitely going more for crude humor this time around which doesn’t work well.

Most of the characters aren’t quite as reasonable either. If you thought Curtis was bad in the last film then he’s way worse here. Scott and Carol’s disagreements felt contrived as Scott was completely out of character with how much he was ignoring Carol and Christmas. Meanwhile Carol was fairly quick to escalate things as well especially with her parents antagonizing Scott the whole time. Then you have Neil and Laura who really don’t get to do much of anything here. You could say they are just along for the ride but that’s about it. Lucy gets a bigger role at least as she gets to have a blast at the North Pole. She didn’t do too well in the fight against Jack though.

Bud and Silvia are decent characters but definitely some of the meanest ones here. They’re always taking a lot of shots at Scott. I suppose they should be upset though. I’ll give Bud some props for being quick to help fix things though. He was definitely a solid handyman while Jack was busy messing the place up. I still can’t get over how Scott just let the guy run wild without a care in the world. He wouldn’t have made this mistake back when he was a business exec. Scott would have been on that guy right away and ready for a win.

Overall, Santa Clause 3’s mistake is very simple. It decided to focus on the North Pole which is consistently the weakest part of each film. Now, you can certainly have a good film at the North Pole I’m sure but then the writing has to be quite good and I can’t say that it was here. The writing is decent at best but most of the jokes don’t land and the character cast isn’t great. The difference between this film and the first one is pretty massive. It’s a decent end to the trilogy I guess but there’s very little replay value and you’ll likely be disappointed if you expect it to be on the same level as the first two.

Overall 6/10

Little Big Planet 3 Review


The Little Big Planet series started off rather rocky with the first game and then really jumped with the second one. This final installment in the trilogy manages to keep that same energy and keeps the series on an upwards trajectory. I wouldn’t say it quite matches the second game which still had the most intense plot but the fact that the game has a pretty serious story with clear plot progression is always a good thing. Sackboy has really done everything he could in order to save the world at this point. He may get nervous but he’s always ready.

So there’s a guy named Newton who has decided to awaken the Titans. He had the best of intentions initially as he just wanted to help the world with energy and such. Unfortunately the power corrupts him as everyone warned it would and he aims to destroy the world. Sackboy will have to resurrect the 3 legendary warriors to back him up and claim victory now. It’ll be dangerous but if he has these guys back him up then now he has a real shot at success. Naturally that means Sackboy will have to get past the Titans though so he can’t afford to lower his guard at all or it may be game over here.

There are 3 worlds in the game and each one has around 5 levels. The campaign is a little on the short side as you’ll have it completed in around 3 hours. There is a lot of replay value to be had here though as you can go back and play online levels, grab collectibles, and earn PS4 trophies. There are a lot of these to grab so that should extend the game to around 10 hours or longer I would expect. There are also a bunch of extra levels that aren’t required to beat the game but are present in each world. You can also get the game for a pretty good price so that helps even out the length concerns. Part of why it goes a lot faster than the other games is because the game is a lot easier than the second one. Perhaps people weren’t thrilled with the difficulty of the last one? It could get surprisingly tough that’s for sure, I remember being pretty surprised at that myself.

The story itself is pretty fun though. Newton makes for a fun villain who even has an emotional backstory. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him because he’s had it tough. Not “Gotta destroy the world” tough but still I’ll give him some props. Meanwhile the graphics are definitely solid. The levels have a lot of really solid backgrounds to it and each of the worlds are pretty unique. The soundtrack is also nice with an iconic Christmas song thrown in and then you’ve got another lively one during the credits. A good amount of work was put into this. I wonder if the songs were free domain at this point or if they had to pay for them. Either way it’s pretty nice to have though.

The gameplay is your classic 2D platformer. You want to run and jump past obstacles to make it to the end of the game. This time around you have multiple playable characters though and each of them have some slight differences. The dog for example can move faster than Sackboy. He can’t grab things but he can run on walls. Then you have the bird who can fly at high speeds. He makes for some of the tougher bits in the game since when you go into free drive it can be difficult to dodge the lasers and such. Then you have the power player of the group who can shrink into a tiny form to go under platforms or into the huge form in order to punch through obstacles.

One thing that’s always been a big point of emphasis for the Little Big Planet games is how much customization there is in the gameplay. Aside from level creating you can also equip your Sackboy with hundreds of different clothing options. You can make him an explorer, superhero, monster, etc. I gave him a basic Indiana Jones type costume this time. Initially when you start the game the two options are that one and Red Riding Hood but there are tons of materials to find in every level. After the first level you can probably combine for a bunch of different uniforms as well. So Sackboy can really appear as you want him to be.

Overall, Little Big Planet 3 is a pretty fun game. You can’t ask for much more from a classic platformer. The gameplay is strong with no glitches in sight, the soundtrack is on point with a lot of variety and solid tunes, finally you have really good graphics with a lot of character designs that are on point. It doesn’t lose in any technical aspects. The only real factor working against the game is the length of the story and even then there are a lot of bonus options you can do to keep up the replay value. I’m looking forward to seeing how the 4th Little Big Planet turns out. If it does well then it may be time for Sony to more aggressively think of spinoffs putting Sackboy in different gameplay styles and situations. I think there’s a lot of potential there. If you like platformers then this should be somewhere on your list.

Overall 7/10

Little Big Planet 3 Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 4/32

World Stats

World 0 56% Complete
World 1 34% Complete
World 2 28% Complete
World 3 235 Complete

Level Stats (%Complete)

Belly of the Beast 42%
Masque Maker’s Tower 19%
Cloud Caravan 31%
Even Bosses Wear Hats Sometimes 76%
Benkum Lagoon 9%
The Great Escape 30%

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back that’s definitely pretty well known. It did manage to get two sequels after all. It’s hard to find main characters that are less intelligent than these guys. Bill and Ted consistently look pretty bad throughout the whole film. The writing is pretty solid though. The film can definitely get a bit overboard with how silly it is at times. It’s definitely going for a comedic approach you don’t see quite as much nowadays. Still, it manages to land pretty well for the most part. I don’t see this title as having a lot of replay value but on your first go around it’s fun enough.

The movie starts off with Bill and Ted goofing off as usual. Unfortunately this has finally come back to bite them. Ted is at risk of failing history and if that happens then he will get sent off to military school. He tries to study with Bill but they’re just no good at this and the presentation for the final is tomorrow anyway. Fortunately they have some help. In the future, Bill and Ted are supposed to change the galaxy as we know it through their music. So an envoy is sent to the past to rescue the main characters from their plight. What happens is they send a time machine to the present so Bill and Ted can travel back in time and bring back a bunch of famous figures to answer the historical questions that they needed. This is a bold plan. Can the heroes pull it off? Or…have they already done so since the future already exists for them to do it?

Time travel is always an interesting concept in part because people can never really decide on what the rules should be. Personally, my favorite time travel rules are rather similar to DBZ’s. When you go to the past, you can’t affect your own timeline since the events have already happened. Effectively you are traveling to a parallels timeline where the events will now be different. As such you can’t get stuck in any of the time loops that you see pop up here and there. That’s because the events didn’t already happen, they’re all fresh as soon as they occur. This film is using a different theory though that you actively change time as you go through it. Because of that, the heroes are now in a time loop. The loop doesn’t make perfect sense by the end though such as some scenes we get of the heroes already doing things that they haven’t yet like recording a message of leaving notes. The only way that works is if you did another time travel adventure but the problem is actually starting it as they’d need to use more machines and actually time things perfectly which I don’t trust the leads to do. It does get pretty messy but it’s a very unique way to show time travel which was cool.

After all, there has to be a first encounter in order to set up the loop and I don’t see how that works. Clearly Ted would have been sent to military school without the help so the future wouldn’t be around to come back to the past and save him. If they were, then it would mean that the future doesn’t actually need Bill and Ted after all. Either way that does not bode particularly well for the heroes when you think about it. It’s part comedy so no need to think on it too much but it’s something that does stand out the more you think about it.

As I mentioned, the film’s pretty fun. As a comedy it really needs to be in order to succeed. It doesn’t mean that every joke will land, it’s rare for any comedy film to pull that off. Still, more land than the ones that do not which is the critical factor here. Personally I mainly enjoyed when the heroes were in the present compared to being in the past. I thought the film could have had more fun with these figures from the olden days enjoying modern life. We do get some of that near the end though which was nice. We even have a big mall fight where the cops show up to take them all down. It makes for a pretty solid action scene.

As for Bill and Ted as characters, I wouldn’t say that any of them are particularly likable. Both of them don’t study hard so they have nobody to blame but themselves on why they weren’t ready for the exams. I wouldn’t say they’re the most heroic characters either. This is the kind of film that isn’t relying on the leads which is good. The cast wasn’t really anything to write home about in general. The fathers of both kids were pretty unreasonable the whole time. We don’t see Ted’s mother but Bill’s was trying pretty hard at least. The lunch may have been burned but the attempt was on point. I liked the teacher even though he didn’t get to appear a whole lot. He may be a pretty strict guy but he still gave everyone a chance which is the important part. The fact that he let them have an opportunity to succeed shows that he cared at least.

Overall, By the end of the film you’ll have heard the word “excellent” quite a lot. One of the main reasons why this film was able to succeed is also that while Bill and Ted were portrayed as being very unintelligent, they weren’t super annoying about it. I’ll take “excellent” and the electric guitars as running themes over other options they could have had. The film also widely avoids crude humor which I was pleasantly surprised about. This definitely goes a long way as well. In short, this film was actually written pretty well. It succeeds in the approach it’s going for and the film just flies by. Ultimately I was entertained and it’s not like the film is very long either so it definitely doesn’t drag on or anything like that. It’ll be interesting to see if the sequels can quite match up to this one. If you like comedy films then this is a good one to check out. It’s not the best or anything like that but it holds its own and the sci-fi/time travel angle helps make this one fairly unique. I’m always in favor of using time travel to change history if it’s an option and these characters certainly don’t have any qualms against it.

Overall 6/10

Transporter 3 Review


It’s time to look at the final film in the trilogy. The first two Transporter films were both pretty solid. I thought the second beat the first by a narrow margin. Unfortunately this one is quite a bit weaker than the first two. Essentially it’s going for similar themes and fights, but just ends up weaker in every area compared to the first two. While I wouldn’t say this is an inherently bad thing as losing to good films isn’t a problem, this film just isn’t that good. I’d say it does just enough to skate by on not being called a bad film but it’s a little too close to the line for comfort. It’s a shame because the film has quite a lot of potential with the premise alone.

So the film starts off with some scenes involving a giant boat trying to land but realizing that it can’t. The captain calls his Russian mafia friends and they confirm that they are close to finishing off the deal. They seem to have some kind of blackmail on the environmental minister. He’ll be signing their papers in a day so that they can offload all of their boats. The minister sends his men in to stop this but only a day is a pretty tough timeline. Meanwhile Frank is enjoying retirement. He turned down the latest assignment to transport and just relaxes with some fishing. Unfortunately his day is ruined when an old friend bursts through his window in a car along with a lady named Valentina. The guy dies since he goes too far from the car and then Frank gets mugged. He is forced by the villains to take the job of transporting a few packages along with Valentina to a far away destination. Now that Frank has the wrist device he also can’t go too far from the car or he will be blown up. The problem is that he and Valentina don’t get along at all. She’s quite antagonistic the whole time despite Frank’s best efforts. Looks like it’s up to him to get out of this situation.

I will say that the film’s beginning had a few warning bells. Nothing too serious to be honest so I don’t want to overstate it. The film’s problems would get worse as it went along. Still, the intro was rather dull. The scenes on the boat still feel pretty pointless to me. At the very least I don’t see why you would start with these scenes. Some guys break into the cargo area and die to the poison? I suppose this is to tip us off that the boat is related to criminal activity…but that was pretty obvious from the jump. The boat characters maybe appear for 2-3 minutes total for the rest of the film. We then cut away to fishing which also isn’t very exciting. The only good part here is the car chase while Frank narrates over it. It’s just a very slow beginning.

The other warning sign is that Frank doesn’t look very intelligent at all. He notices that his friend has a weird tech thing on his arm and the friend begs him not to let them take him to an ambulance. Frank ignores this and after they take him away finally realizes that it’s because the thing on his arm was a bomb. The friend dies of course. So….maybe we can cut Frank some slack because this might not be a common device. You see it all the time in movies but we could say it’s not normal. Still, you’d expect him to be a lot more on the ball with this. Getting knocked out shortly afterwards wasn’t a good look for him either although to be fair he gets quite a habit of getting beaten up when it’s a sneak attack.

I don’t mind the idea of having to stay close to the car though. It’s a good way to build up tension. You may have a hard time believing how he catches up to the car at times but it’s a solid plot gimmick nonetheless. Additionally, I still do like the fights in Transporter 3 even though they are a noticeable downgrade from the first two films. Gone are the days when Frank would win his fights with advanced martial art techniques. One thing I really liked about the first film was that he was shown to be an expert fighter. He was using crazy hand to hand techniques you’d never seen. I’d actually say as a pure fighter he is even better than Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Dwayne Johnson, and James Bond. This guy is just an excellent fighter without a doubt. In this film he uses more basic moves. He still beats everyone up and looks generally impressive but the choreography isn’t at the same level. There are a ton of jump cuts. For that reason, the opening fight in the flashback is easily my favorite fight scene in the film. I thought a lot more effort was put into this one than the others that would come later on.

Where the film goes wrong is really with the main heroine and the inevitable romance that follows. Valentina is one of those characters who gives Frank quite an attitude the whole time. Typically I’m okay with characters having some attitude. She has no reason to trust this guy and it’s a stressful situation right? Well, the problem is that this isn’t totally true. We learn later on some interesting twists about her character but they completely contradict her actions. The film would have been so much easier and quicker if she had been upfront with him. Her reason for staying quiet at the end of the film is comically bad. It’s just hard to understand what’s going through her head. Not only is she unhelpful but she actively puts them in danger like with the whole scene in the grocery store.

This long scene which involves her getting drunk and really just undermining her character makes her look really bad. I can’t cut her any slack for these actions “because she was drunk” because she knowingly chose to get drunk and high during a situation when they need to stay sharp and not die. She also forces a romance between her and Frank by blackmailing him with a bomb. Seriously? That’s got to be one of the worst romance starters I’ve seen in a long time. Literally if he says no he blows up and he can’t walk away either…or he will blow up. Not a whole lot of options to him and she has fun humiliating him for a while. Naturally he ends up enjoying the romance so it’s not a problem for him but this was a really, really bad scene. This plotline was bad from start to finish.

Valentina’s character never rises above this. She tries to be supportive later on but it’s too little too late. I’d also mention that she does a poor job of trying to get the villain driver to slow the car when Frank is behind them. All right, that’s enough on her character. Frank is a decent lead but he looks far worse than in the last two installments. Putting aside the romance and his getting mugged at the beginning of the film in addition to him not realizing about the friend, he even endangers his friend. It’s a comedy scene but he heads to a mechanic he knows and asks the guy to look over the car. We then get a big fight scene where the film resists the urge to use oil for a third time straight although you know it was close since they were fighting with cannisters. The friend asks if it’ll be okay since all of these big villains will wake up soon and Frank just says to go home. They all saw the guy’s face and presumably know his name. Frank just didn’t seem to care. We also just generally get less scenes of Frank humiliating everyone with how good he is in a fight. The guy is an old pro at how this works so showing more of that like in the first two films would be a good idea.

I’d also argue that the final scene of using the bomb with the main villain put Valentina in danger needlessly. As it is the explosion threw her under some rubble. She was okay but it could have very easily gone sideways and her death would have been really pointless there. Frank just can’t help but show off I suppose. The Inspector returns as a supporting character but his scenes feel a little pointless at this point. It’s the same ole jokes from the first two films and he’s always far too late to really do anything. He seems like a nice enough guy I suppose but you get the feeling that he was squeezed in.

Man, this is sounding like a negative review right? I’d say it’s just because the negatives of the film are so noticeable. The positives are still there but just not as strong as they could be. The soundtrack is pretty solid for the fights. I’d say that the lyrical songs we get are pretty weak though. The film succeeds as a thriller in the sense that we do have a lot of nonstop action and fights when the characters are on the road. I enjoyed the chase scene where you have the two black cars on the highway. The cars looking almost identical works pretty well for solid visuals while they’re bumping back and forth. There was some nice strategy used here as well. In general the film always delivers with the chases. There are less jump cuts than with the hand to hand fights as well which is good.

Overall, Transporter 3 is a downgrade from the first 2. The heroine is no good and her actions just don’t make sense especially once we get her flashbacks. It’s a shame because her character had potential as a tough female lead who could keep up with Frank. Her father is certainly presented as a tough figure at least. He actually talks back to villains and doesn’t just roll over with the blackmail. The guy’s got a ton of pull for an environmental leader. I didn’t realize they were quite so tough. At the same time, Russia always has a rep for being very tough so it was nice to see this guy keep that persona as opposed to losing it just because he was a good guy here. If you liked the first two films then you should still check this one out since it completes the saga. It’ll still deliver on the usual action and fight scenes that you would expect. The writing and everything else just experience a bit of a decline here so it’s easy to see why they didn’t go forward with another one in this saga. I think someday they should do a nostalgia fourth film though. The film just needs to focus more on the Transporter angle and give us some solid fight scenes.

Overall 5/10

Blade: Trinity Review


It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10